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Cold wars

The weather is cold and snowy in Britain just now – even, now, in central London – but people like Richard North are actually quite enjoying this:

It is global warming here again, and it is getting serious. It is not so much the depth, as the repeated falls. Each layer compacts and freezes which, with fresh global warming on top becomes lethally slippery.

Time was, what with the AGW crowd pretty much completely controlling the agenda, when this kind of elegant mockery would be dismissed as the ignorance of the uninitiated. But the fact is that the present wintry weather is extremely significant in this debate. True, the weather today is not the climate for the next century, but sooner or later weather does turn into climate, and the weather has, from the AGW point of view, been misbehaving for a decade. Their precious Hockey Stick said that the temperature of the globe would disappear off the top right hand corner of the page, right about now. Well it hasn’t, has it?

As John Redwood recently asked Ed Miliband in the House of Commons, concerning the present very cold weather:

… which of the climate models had predicted this?

None, it quickly became clear from Mr Miliband’s faltering reply, that Mr Miliband has been paying any attention to (although other sorts of models have predicted cold winters rather successfully).

But this is not just about looking out of the window and seeing if global warming is to be observed or not (as Richard North well understands). The other point here is the authority of the people upon whom people like Ed Miliband have been relying. Not only have none of Miliband’s “experts” (sneer quotes entirely deliberate) been able to predict the recent succession of colder winters; it goes way beyond that. The point is: these experts assured the world, or allowed their more ignorant followers to assure the world, that these cold winters would not happen, and despite all their protestations now about how weather is not climate, well, shouldn’t they have born this in mind when saying, only a few short years ago, and repeating ever since, that winter snow in places like Britain would be a thing of the past? Should they not have been more careful about seizing upon any bursts of warm weather, any bursts of weather of any kind, come to that, as evidence of the truth of global warming? Had they truly understood the point that they have been reduced to making now, they would have been a lot more modest in their recent, and in Britain economically disastrous, medium range predictions. See also, John Redwood’s follow up posting. Redwood is now talking more sense about the world’s climate than the British Met Office. Forgive me for always banging on about that other Cold War whenever I write about Climategate, but I truly believe that these comparisons are relevant. Much the same people were locked in combat then as are now, and the same economically catastrophic policies are being argued for and against then as now, the big difference being that now it is the entire global economy that is being threatened with economic derangement, which means that the world won’t now, as the deranging tendency well knows, be able to make the obvious and damning comparisons that it could make then.

Meanwhile, the AGW debate has arrived at the same position that the Cold War argument had arrived at in or around about 1970 to 1980. An informed minority of pro-economic-progress critics had won the academic argument against the pro-economic-derangement academics, and word of this victory was spreading. And a particular thing that happened then is starting to happen now, which is that even intelligent layman critics of the John Redwood (and Brian Micklethwait) variety are starting to understand the details of the argument better than even the very smartest of the pro-derangement scientists, of the sort who are still advising governments, or who are still receiving and still trying still to believe this advice. It’s not that these “experts” were born stupid, nor that they are now ignorant. Nor is Ed Miliband stupid, even if, what with all the other things on his mind, I suspect him of still being fairly ignorant. The climate science “experts” still know far more mere facts about this debate than John Redwood does, or than I do. It is simply that these people have now said – and nailed their egos to – too many stupid things, too many non-facts, and there is now no sensible way out for them. It’s what these “experts” still insist on saying they know, but that clearly ain’t so, that is hanging them all out to dry. The science, they keep saying, still, is settled. In their dreams.

I remember when I and my fellow anti-Marxists began correcting self-declared Marxists, who suddenly found themselves as a result on the theoretical defensive, about what Karl Marx himself had actually said. Communism is fine in theory, they then said, retreating hurriedly, but it just didn’t work quite so well in practice. No, said we, pressing forward some more, a theory that doesn’t work “in practice” is called an untrue theory, a bad theory, and anyone who persists in following it is stupid, and by and by: evil. And so on. So it is now with AGW. Okay, I might not now be able to demolish the sinister and preposterous Michael Mann in a television studio, but give me another few months, weeks even, of reading the skeptic blogs and I surely could.

Then as now, the mainstream media were very reluctant to report what had become obvious then, and is gradually becoming obvious now. But despite there being no internet then, the obvious economic inferiority of communism was nevertheless reported and did get around, in the form of capitalist stuff galore and adverts galore for yet more capitalist stuff galore, and nothing but jokes and complaints about the communist stuff. Not even journalists could fail to observe in which direction the Berlin Wall was pointing, and which side built it. Now the word about the fraudulence of the AGW crowd is also getting out, in the form of misbehaving weather, and, despite the best efforts of most of the regular journalists, via the internet.

The next step is to destroy – or at least try to cut down to size – the various Evil Empires that have been erected upon the fraudulent foundations of the AGW argument, as Richard North also well understands.

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25 comments to Cold wars

  • WitteringsfromWitney

    Nice comment and have consequently linked.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    To be fair, increased precipitation is one consequence of a warmer climate: more warmth, more evaporation going up and more rain or snow coming down. So all the har-de-har BLIZZARD! stuff is a little misplaced. That’s not to defend AGW, just to say that “it’s snowing!” isn’t a good argument against it.

  • Laird

    PFP, I’m going to have to start calling you “Party-pooper from Porlock”. Why spoil a good rant?

    Anyway, if the earth were truly warming all that increased precipitation would be taking the form of rain, not snow. It’s the 10-year decline in global temperatures which is the evidence against AGW; the snow is merely its manifestation.

  • veryretired

    I know this may sound very odd given that this is a post about the now controversial claims of the AGW crowd, and a very good one, I might add, but I think we have reached a point at which it is no longer necessary or desirable to go on about the weather and/or climate.

    It is imperative that the major part of the debate now shift to addressing the many usurpations and proposed legal repressions which the AGW alarmists have attempted, and are attempting, to foist upon the still uncomprehending public across the western world.

    Much of this legislation is downplayed and camouflaged by the same complicit media outlets which have been proselytizing for the AGW agenda all along.

    It is also being pushed relentlessly by various political groups whose front is “concern for the climate” but whose longstanding concerns have been anti-capitalism, anti-globalism, and anti-technology claims and protests.

    By continuing to debate minutiae about this winter’s snowfall, or whether some ice field has melted x% or y%, we indirectly legitimize and validate the underlying allegation, i.e., that we can and do control the climate, either by commission or ommission.

    We must attack directly the potentially despotic political and legal regimes which are being proposed, and in some cases have already been adopted, at least in part, and clearly isolate those issues from the never ending and convoluted debate regarding the disputed climate models and questionable temperature measurements and/or proxies.

    This is analagous to the endless and complex debates regarding the various statist policies enacted in response to the recent financial debacle. The significant points to be made are the responsibility of the political policies for the collapse, and the futile and graft-ridden nature of these massive spending bills that were rushed into law and justified as measures to rescue the economy.

    There has been a deep and visceral reaction building in the US over this past year and more because a great many people can recognize a power grab when they see one, and the corruption that invariably accompanies it, even if the average citizen can’t follow all the ins and outs of every esoteric element of the problem.

    There is a phrase used in the civil rights movement that is very apt in this contest—keep your eye on the prize.

    The question is not only whether the latest snowfall, or glacier measurement, or group of tree rings does or doesn’t contain some meaningful information about global climate, but whether or not we will allow a self-appointd group of statists to use this crisis, as they have used others, to fashion thicker and stronger links in the chains with which they hope to bind the remaining free peoples of this earth.

    The claim is often made that the environment, or climate, is fragile and must be protected fro the depredations of men.

    I would contend that the sun will rise and light the earth regardless of whether humans live in caves at a subsistence level of survival, or huddle together, shivering and hungry, as wars and pestilence decimate their numbers, or live in a modern technological society governed by a limited, representative government which protects their natural rights and liberties.

    It is freedom which is fragile, not the earth.

    I do not fear nature. I fear the endless and relentless scheming of those who would control my life, and condemn my children to a life of hardship, in nature’s name.

  • Gengee

    Very well said Veryretired,
    as the people begin to realise how much of a ride they have been taken for, they need to be informed of what they have already given up, in the way of freedoms and cold hard cash, in pursuit of a goal that did not, ever, have their interests at its heart.

    Later

    Gengee

  • Well argued, veryretired – but mistaken. For many, many people who do not think about politics (and what they do think mostly wrong) the usurpations would be acceptable and necessary if (catastrophic) AGW were true. Emergency measures would be necessary because it’s an emergency. In every era the power grabbers promise safety from what people most fear.

    That is why the reality check is so essential. To use your metaphor about “keeping your eyes on the prize” the reality check is what puts our side into the competition. It’s what tells people there is a competition going on!

    The point about reality check is why I, like Brian Micklethwait, compare all this to the cold war constantly. (I also utterly agree with his most ominous point about how the worldwide nature of the economic repression being prepared will allow the repressors to hide the harm they do, by not allowing visible differences of outcome)

    Remember there are umpteen people who are only finding out that there is any doubt about CAGW now. And they find out because of somewhat unscientific jokes about “Where’s all this global warming, then, could do with some if you ask me.” A few months ago the inevitable lecture from a passing Bright Young Thing on the difference between weather and climate would be enough to shut the grumblers up, but now, thanks to two years running with the kids off school for snow days and the CRU emails, there’s pushback. Those pushing back don’t have to know a lot about ‘Harry Read Me’ or Yamal tree rings, just to know that somewhere out there there are people – smart, non-swivel-eyed people – who do know a lot.

    None of which should stop us attacking the potentially despotic political and legal regimes you rightly fear, of course. I feared them before I became a sceptic about AGW. But if even a libertarian nerd like me has found that becoming a sceptic as to the facts of AGW emboldened me to attack the would-be despots with more vigour and interest, how much more will the knowledge that it’s not just a power grab but a power grab based on a falsehood embolden less political people?

  • I shouldn’t have said “interest” in the comment above. I should have said “enjoyment.”

    It’s fun now!

  • Natalie Solent is spot on. I agree that whereas veryretired is right to want the blogosphere to “follow the money”, the particular point he makes here is wrong.

    If there had been no Climategate revelations, and no convincing argument to the effect that “the scientists have been lying”, to summarise another meme now doing the rounds, nobody but a few obsessives would give a damn about the “follow the money” stuff.

    No Climategate, and Pachauri et al would just be making money doing good. Which is no worse than making money selling Christmas cards or inventing new kinds of contact lenses.

    This is not an either/or thing. It’s not a case of EITHER arguing icecaps and winter temperatures and hockey sticks blah blah, OR chasing up carbon money and closing factories blah blah.

    Any more than, during the Cold War it was a case of EITHER arguing about Karl Marx and his many follies and wickednesses, OR arguing about the horrors of Soviet prison camps and the ghastliness of Soviet washing machines. The fact, then, that the USSR was built on a ridiculous and wicked ideology was all part of how evil it was, as were the camps and the hopeless washing machines. Had the ideology made sense, it would have been far less of a crime to have been trying to enact it.

    And remember, for many years, the Soviets were allowed to get away with the lie that the ideology DID make sense, and that it was merely the doing of it that was a bit off. It is no coincidence at all that when, and only when, the ideology at the heart of the whole enterprise started to be routinely denounced as the evil tripe that it was, the Evil Empire based on that evil ideology then folded.

    The logic of the AGW debate is very similar.

    I’ve heard this stop-with-the-climate-follow-the-money meme recently in lots of places, including from people whose previous and next posting is about the very weather/climate that they just said didn’t matter. Even as people say this, they know they are wrong.

    This argument deserves a posting of its own, I think. Although, maybe between us Natalie and I just did it.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    PFP, I’m going to have to start calling you “Party-pooper from Porlock”. Why spoil a good rant?

    Posted by Laird at January 10, 2010 03:49 AM

    Fair enough, but I should note that (one-on-one) party-pooping is what the original PFP is famous for. Which isn’t a coincidence. And you’re right about rain, but only if it gets lots warmer: you can have a bit of warming and more snow.

  • Kevin B

    If we win this fight, and it is by no means certain that we will, Richard North will be one of the, (probably unsung), heroes. It has been his persistence in pushing the story that this isn’t some red/green alliance that is threatening to send us all back to the dark ages, but a corporatist/fascist push, (putsch?), to transfer power and wealth to an unelected elite that may well prove the tipping point.

    It’s probably true that without the confluence of a very cold winter and the CRUtape letters he would have found it much more difficult to get traction in the media on Patchygate, but his unearthing of the TERI story and the subsequent meme that Pachauri is far from the simple Railway Engineer trying to save the world, but is, in fact, a big player in a corporatist coalition seeking to gather as much wealth and power as it can, that will do much to stop this fraud.

    The story of ‘crazy green scientists in conspiracy to curb growth’ is a difficult one to sell in the face of the ‘evil mankind threatens globe’ meme. However, ‘fatcat fascists stealing power and wealth using misguided and idealistic scientists’ is a much easier tale to tell, and when we dig out the story of the corrupt politicians, (and I’m sure that story is there waiting to be found), then the collapse of the fraud will be complete.

    The Greens, the Watermelons and the anti-globalists are already beginning to realise, post Copenhagen, that they are being taken for a ride. Once they see clearly that the IPCC, far from being on their side, is just the typical UN corrupt kleptocracy headed by a tool of ‘Big-Carbon’ they may well reject the whole thing. AGW is only a means to an end for them as well, and being associated with a bunch of crooks – particularly a failed bunch of crooks – will not be good for their cause.

    So keep pushing the ‘science is far from settled’ meme and the ‘legislators are stealing power and money’ meme, but also hammer the facts surrounding the Chairman of the IPCC and his links to business and politicians and push it in the public square whenever you get the chance. We need to give the likes of Cameron et al, (spit!), an exit strategy and this is the likliest winner.

  • Robert Speirs

    The best thing about the current cold weather (15 degrees F last night in Tallahassee, Florida, USA!) is that people might think more clearly about how nice it might be to have some warmer weather. Then the alarmists’ ridiculous conclusions about a bit of warming being disastrous might be exposed. Ten degrees of cooling would be a REAL climate disaster.

  • Sam Duncan

    Good post, and the comparison with the Cold War is sound. But I don’t share your optimism (at least, not completely). The anti-EU movement has been at the correcting-Marxists-on-Marxism stage for nearly 20 years, and we seem to be little further forward.

    I have no doubt that those with the facts on their side will ultimately win through, but it might take a while…

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    I must confess. I was in a Public House today, and I drank a toast to the great saviours of humanity, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. May their shadows never grow less.

  • veryretired

    I was speaking of emphasis, not exclusion of one point in deference to the other.

    Wars have been fought, and won, on two fronts before.

    I appreciate the two well reasoned criticisms, and will consider their points at length.

  • manuel II paleologos

    Don’t know if you’ve seen them, but Little Green Footballs has been posting links to a series of videos by a blogger called Peter Sinclair attempting to de-bunk, in a rather sneering and sanctimonious tone, the “canards” of the “deniers”.

    I watched one of these, and the argument went as follows:
    1. Deniers like to go on about Vikings and the Medieval Warm Period
    2. That nice Michael Mann chap has looked into this and found that the evidence for the “medieval warm period” comes from a single set of tree-ring data from England
    3. Mr Mann has got together lots of evidence showing that the MWP never existed
    4. Some federal science board agrees with this
    5. Therefore the climate has always been stable until the hockey stick (he actually points to this) and the Viking warm period is all nonsense.

    Seriously, you couldn’t make this up. There are more but I haven’t been arsed to watch them – this one was the laziest bit of analysis I’ve ever seen, and I work in investment banking, for heaven’s sake.

  • Stonyground

    I have to say that I have enjoyed the snowy weather just simply for traditional reasons. For once our Christmas actually looked like the pictures on the Christmas cards. We got to build snowmen, throw snowballs and go sledging. The roads out my way have not been bad at all, although that hasn’t prevented some idiots from driving everywhere at fifteen miles per hour. Snow is just so much more cheerful than the usual diet of cold rain.

  • John Catley

    Good insight into this issue. The tide is turning, albeit slowly. The majority of AGW believers are conditioned to think that any sceptical view is sponsored by energy companies and as such their comments following on from articles such as this barely contain their rage at the heresy that is being uttered.
    It’s unfortunate that these people don’t take the time to look into the facts before spluttering their rage against the “deniers”.
    I applaud John Redwood, who has shown considerable courage in speaking out.
    Incidentally, the Institute of Physics has just cancelled a planned talk by Lord Lawson after a few “open minded” people decided against.
    Unfortunately it is going to take time before such naked prejudiced is stamped out, but let’s make sure such examples of “closed minds” is brought to the attention of the public.

  • Frank S

    A fine piece of work. You will find it very hard to engage a warmist in debate, much as it was hard with the communist hard-nuts. They do not have arguments, they have positions. Positions dear to their hearts, and reinforced by hatred and a highly-strung defensiveness that leads to shrieking and denouncements, and of course much labelling with whatever is really bad for a leftie at the time. ‘Wall Street Runner’, ‘Capitalist Lackey’ and such are of course relegated to the pantomimes and concert halls of comedians. Now we have ‘Denier’, and even in this area, very shortly the once heavy guns of ‘Fascist!’ and ‘Racist!’ will be deployed as a matter of course. No, the warmmongerers have lost every public debate I’ve ever heard of, and I have yet to meet one who can handle his or her side the ‘argument’ for more than five minutes.

  • Kate

    The next step is to destroy – or at least try to cut down to size – the various Evil Empires that have been erected upon the fraudulent foundations of the AGW argument.

    Please go to Richard Black’s Earth Watch and post a rebuttal. There are two Cerberus dogs keeping the gate.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/01/arctic_conditions_arctic_cause.html

    I appreciate your help.

  • How did Western Civilization end up being undermined like this, and God knows what else, humanity has been hampered for decades by nonsense like this.quite possibly centuries.

  • lucklucky

    Climatologists=Sovietologists

    Why were Sovietologists wrong?

    “According to Kevin Brennan:
    “Sovietology failed because it operated in an environment that encouraged failure. Sovietologists of all political stripes were given strong incentives to ignore certain facts and focus their interest in other areas. I don’t mean to suggest that there was a giant conspiracy at work; there wasn’t. It was just that there were no careers to be had in questioning the conventional wisdom…”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictions_of_Soviet_collapse

  • Regarding Miskolczi – I saw it discussed on one of the ClimateAudit forums, and I believe the conclusion there was that there was an invalid (or at least unexplained) step part way through. (He relied on something called the Virial theorem, but I don’t personally believe it can be used in that way and Dr Miskoczi didn’t explain in the paper how the step was supposed to work.)

    But as I can’t really give an explanation comprehensible to the layman, I suggest that you don’t take my word for it. Let’s just say that true or not, I don’t think it’s likely to be very effective at convincing most physicists until the gap in the argument is plugged.

  • Laird

    Sort of like this, Pa?

  • One of the predictions of the Global Warming theory is that cold water run off from melting glaciers would disrupt the Atlantic Conveyor and potentially stop it. If that happened then Northern Europe would flip to a climate rather more like Labrador (with which it shares latitude) than further South. So, while it means it will rain more, it will also be a LOT colder in winter if you’re unfortunate to live 52 degrees North.

    So the weather fits what you’d see if the Atlantic Conveyor is shutting down – hopefully it’s just a weird winter.

    OTOH – even for Seattle, about the same as Paris, the weather is unusually wet, even for Seattle and according to the weather forecast I just saw there’s a series of record breaking depressions forming in the Pacific at the moment which is going to make next week really nasty for anybody unfortunate enough to live in Forks.

    Of course it might just be a weird wetter winter than normal…

    I’d be more sanguine if last winter hadn’t been “weird” and “unusual” too, and if the winter 2 before that hadn’t been the…

    Still that’s purely anecdotal, means nothing.